21 – Question 4

This is a common misconception that people who have passed away become guardian angels.  This is probably due largely to the fact that movies, TV shows, and novels give the idea that once a loved one has passed away, they will watch over those they have left behind.  It is a nice sentiment, but there is nothing in scripture at all that would indicate this.

In fact, angels are created beings, separate from humans.  Let’s read Psalms 148:1-5.  It says, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.  Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.”  Of so many creations of the Lord that are listed here, we see that angels are created by God.  They are not former people; they were created as and exist as angels.

One reason for the existence of angels is to minister to the Lord’s people.  Hebrews 1:13-14 tells us, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Scripture tells us that believers will one day judge the world.  1 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?”  We are told specifically that angels will not judge the world in Hebrews 2:5 which says, “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”

We do know that angels are watching us, looking to see the wonder and beauty of God’s order.  Paul said of himself and the other apostles in 1 Corinthians 4:9, “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”  1 Peter 1:12 tells us, “Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”  We also know that angels are very interested in and rejoice in the salvation of people.  Luke 15:10 says, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

There is so much more that could be said about angels, but I think we can clearly see from the scriptures that when people pass away, they do not become angels.  What about our loved ones that have passed away, do they look down on us?  If our loved ones who have passed away were believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, they are now in the glory with the Lord Jesus Himself.  Read 2 Corinthians 5:8.  Scripture is silent about whether they can observe us.  I like to think that they are so amazed at being in the presence of the Lord that all their attention is on their dear savior.